A small town outside of D.C. is facing a dilemma – to fix its sewer system or spend millions of dollars to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant. And this isn’t the first time their facing this toss-up.
The project is to keep stormwater runoff from infiltrating the sanitary sewer lines. For years, they have been working to correct this issue and years ago, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a consent order that required the town to reduce the amount of water entering the sewer system or install upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.
The stormwater runoff increases the amount of water sent to the wastewater treatment plant and state permits limit how much wastewater plants can treat before a facility must bypass and send directly to the local Shenandoah River.
Water can enter sewer systems a number of ways: storm drains, leaks in broken pipes and connections, manhole covers, and more. The Department of Environmental Quality has told the town that they must go two years without any sanitary sewer overflows or bypass wastewater before the consent order is lifted.
The town if doing much more in hopes of getting the order lifted. They could potentially rehabilitate 63 miles of its 124-mile sewer system. Using cameras and smoke testing, they have inspected approximately 30 miles to find cracks.
For replacement this year alone, they will be repairing .7 miles of sewer mains and 93 lateral lines.
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